jump to last post 1-3 of 3 discussions (33 posts)

From Democracy to Plutocracy; the new normal

  1. Stacie L profile image90
    Stacie Lposted 6 years ago

    Published on Saturday, December 25, 2010 by Reuters
    Fading Optimism in New Normal America

    by Bernd Debusmann

    "Optimism is so deeply embedded in the American national psyche that it withstood the Great Depression in the 1930s and a string of recessions since then. But in the era some economists call the new normal in America, optimism is fading.

    A slew of studies, surveys and reports show that a growing number of Americans  some surveys say more than half  no longer believe that their country is a land of unlimited opportunity, where all it takes to rise to success is hard work and determination.]A slew of studies, surveys and reports show that a growing number of Americans  some surveys say more than half  no longer believe that their country is a land of unlimited opportunity, where all it takes to rise to success is hard work and determination.
    So say public opinion polls that ask Americans how they see the future, theirs and their country. One recent survey, by the respected Pew Research Center, found that depression era Americans were more optimistic about economic recovery in the near future than people questioned in a Pew poll this October, when only 35 percent said they expected better economic conditions in a years time. In response to a similar question in 1936 and 1937, about half expected general business conditions to improve over the next six months.

    The phrase new normal was coined by PIMCO, one of the worlds biggest investment funds, and is shorthand for an American future that includes lowered living standards, slow growth and high unemployment. Joblessness now stands at 9.8 percent, up from 9.6 percent in October. Add workers who have given up looking for jobs and people forced to work part time and the rate climbs to 17 percent, a powerful reason for declining optimism."

    the rich are ruling the govt...and making the laws...is this new?..sad
    read the rest of the article
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/25

    1. Doug Hughes profile image59
      Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      In 1936 the rich in the USA had a vested interest in the people of the USA. They were the source of labor, they were the bulk of consumers.

      The rich in America now have no loyalty to the people of this county. American business management looks for new ways to move production overseas and they look to expanding markets in China and elsewhere as the source of revenue.

      The only force that can interfere with plans that will reduce the standard of living and opportunity HERE in the USA, is the federal government, until the rich have what they want. The USA came out of the Great Depression after huge government spending, and after the emergence of a strong labor movement.  Now the rich are manipulating the government to eliminate the social safety net, and neuter the organized labor movement.

      The rich don't care if the USA becomes a 3rd world nation.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image77
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        "the rich" (whatever that means) have never had any vested interest in any member of any society.

        "The rich" have only ever cared about making voluntary trades with other members of humanity in a way that benefits everyone involved.

        I will never defend the rotten apples, but I  will demand that most of the problems associated with "the rich" are actually problems with government.

    2. Shadesbreath profile image84
      Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      This article ignores the other half of the problem, which is a massive bottom tier of society, that, like the plutarchs, also doesn't care about the country.

      They are the ones who insist on being "free" to do nothing, to take but give nothing back, ever. The ones who blame the system for their "misery" and yet seem perfectly content to sit around and watch TV and drink and take drugs and steal and make excuses for why it is so every single time anyone ever points out that neither they nor their kids avail themselves of the education that is provided for free. 

      The abysmal lack of parenting, which these folks will argue is a set of beliefs in how children should be raised that has been foisted on them by opressors, results in families that don't hold together and are therefore not self-supporting.

      That class of people grows and grows and grows and leeches life from the system just as the plutarchs leech wealth.  The middle class are being torn apart, drawn and quartered by the extreme wealth on one side that we can't reach for the isolation provided by their money, and on the other side by the class of worthless deadbeats who are protected by the political correctness that won't allow anyone to say what the problems are outloud.

      We are victims of our own ideals.

      Fascism is the inevitable conclusion to democracy once the middle class loses any form of influence. A middle class leader will rise, lead them to harsh actions, purge the system, annihilate the worthless underclasses for being parasites, strip the wealthy of their wealth and power then annihilate them as predators, and, for a time, do well. Then, as always, manifest the terrors that fascism always becomes.

      Either that, or we revert to feudalism under corporate lords (if we aren't already there).


      big_smile

      1. Doug Hughes profile image59
        Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        So you gonna go int business building gas chambers for the Mexicans and ni**ers?  Sounds like a growth opportunity for a budding captialist.

        If you bother to look at the numbers, the huge bulk of "worthless underclass" are senior citizens. Medicare and Social Security make up 40% of the federal budget. Defense spending takes up the next big chunk and the 'leeches' that some hate so badly aren't taking enough of the remainder of the budget to make or break anything.

        They are a wonderful focal point of hate.

        1. Shadesbreath profile image84
          Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Wow, way to tip the cards of your real feelings there.  Yes, I know, you'll argue it was sarcasm trying to make a point, but it's precisely that knee-jerk PC crap that throws racism into the mix as an end-run around personal responsibility. YOU are the one who is making it a race thing. I was talking about people pulling their own weight. Period. Clearly, in the mask of your liberalism, you really assume it's the races who don't carry their own weight. That's on you, not me.  My point was purely one of economics and individual motivation.

          In addition, the elderly thing is a total and complete red herring. I didn't say anything about that either. If a person has put in his or her dues, why shouldn't he/she be entitled to retire? Or are you saying that the elderly sit around and steal and take drugs and all that rot? You certainly suggest it in that mindlessly reflexive spasm you just had up there in what you wrote.

          Or are you just a piss poor reader who just can hardly wait to spew some emotionally driven garbage to feel good about your political stance, regardless of what you are responding to?

          Way to shine a mirror on a really poor outlook, a racist-in-hiding mindset, and a total lack of willingness to have a real conversation.

          1. Misha profile image77
            Mishaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            LOL John, I stopped talking to this guy looong ago. Total waste of time smile

            1. Shadesbreath profile image84
              Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah, I forgot how vacant his arguments are. Still, was fun to see him show his true colors there.

        2. Evan G Rogers profile image77
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          imagine if 40% of the budget were just NOT taken in the first place -- people would have had a chance to invest their money better than the government!

          And there wouldn't have been any theft!

          To go even further... that was a pretty underhanded blow you dealt.

          "Fascism is a natural extension of democracy" does NOT mean "I want to throw minorities into gas chambers". That was pretty low.

          1. Doug Hughes profile image59
            Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            For those who didn't read Shadesbreath at full stride....

            "A middle class leader will rise, lead them to harsh actions, purge the system, annihilate the worthless underclasses for being parasites.."

            And you think the gas chambers comment was uncalled for????

            1. Shadesbreath profile image84
              Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              More of the emptiness, distortion, and out-of-context lying that guts this country and deprives it of genuine, life-sustaining debate.  Nice work.

              1. Doug Hughes profile image59
                Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                "More of the emptiness, distortion, and out-of-context lying "

                ummmm - I hesitate to bring this up but I was only quoting you.

                1. Shadesbreath profile image84
                  Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  Okay, I can take small pieces of what you say and twist them into a context that completely rewrites the meaning too. Like, remember that time I asked you whether you hesitate before enjoying the man-on-man side of your bisexuality or do you just jump right in without a blink?


        3. Ralph Deeds profile image66
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Gas chambers and for profit prisons.

  2. Evan G Rogers profile image77
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    I would like to point out that these arguments that "the rich", for some reason, owe everyone else something.

    1) why is it naturally assumed that "the rich" are "Americans"? This is a form of racism that prevents humanity from blossoming to its full potential.

    2) To argue that "the rich" Americans need to keep their factory jobs (etc.) in the US is to deny OTHER countries' populations the chance to work for a paycheck. Why is it that a US business man is NOT allowed to give a poor Indian family a job?

    3) Why is no one talking about the fact that there are NUMEROUS foreign companies providing jobs to Americans -- There are at least 2 Honda factories in the US, our food is shipped across the globe, numerous car factories... Why are you all not complaining that "us Americans need to be starved Jobs so that hard-working Japanese citizens can have jobs?!  ONCE AGAIN, this argument is NOTHING short of racism.

    4) Minimum wage (amongst other factors) is one of the largest reasons for destroying jobs. If you can only be profitable to a company for $7.00/hour, but they can't pay you less than $7.25/hour... the company has NO choice but to fire you. The GOVERNMENT is responsible for a HUGE amount of unemployment.

    I hope I've shed some light on the situation that this article completely ignores/has-never-heard-of.

    To argue that Jobs need to be kept in the US simply because the company was created in the US is to be a racist; it is to ignore the fact that we have numerous jobs being created by foreigners; it is to deny foreigners jobs that THEY need just as much (if not more) than we do; and it is to deny the wrong-doing of our government.

    1. Doug Hughes profile image59
      Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      The top 1% of the population own 38% of the wealth of this country.

      The top 10% by population own 70% of the net worth of this country.

      Some would argue that the top 1% actually built over a third of this country - that the top 10% are so industrious they constructed 70% of everything. Some people smoke the cheap stuff.

      The fact is that the bottom 90% are sharing in only 30% of the wealth of this country. These are facts that point to what's wrong with this country. And the facts are NOT that the bottom 90% are lazy, shiftless leeches. Evan is right that the rich will benefit by creating jobs in Asia at the expense of someone in the bottom 90% of American. And Shadesbreath is right - I am bigoted in favor of that 90%.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image77
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        thanks to those top 10% richest people, the 30% that the majority own gets bigger and bigger each year.

        Yeah, sure, 1 guy owns a crap lot of stuff.... but it's because he mass produced a lot of stuff that the rest of the population wants.

        those people are rich for a reason. and it's because they help people on a daily basis.

        Who did more for the world? Mother Theresa or Henry Ford? Obviously the answer is Ford, but everyone he's not the one with the sainthood.

        1. Doug Hughes profile image59
          Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Look at what the numbers suggest.

          When one of the richest 10% (who own 70% of everything) 'gives' a job to one of the bottom 90% (who own less than a third of the total net worth of the US), the final result of the transaction is that of a dollar of wealth produced,  the poor guy will get 30 cents and the rich guy 70 cents.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image77
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            A trade ONLY takes place if both parties expect to benefit.

            Thus any time anyone gets a job, it is because they voluntarily chose to take a job under the assumption that they would benefit from the transaction.

            Thus, no one "gives" anyone a job - the two individuals involved agree upon conditions for work.

            Would you take a job if you didn't expect to benefit? Of course not.

            So, when the trade takes place -- as opposed to if the trade does NOT take place -- both parties benefit.

            You're telling me that (IF) the lower party benefits by 30cents through trade, it's a bad thing? Despite the fact that he would have gained NOTHING by NOT trading?

            No. this is not accurate. Voluntary trade makes every party involved happier, otherwise trade would not happen.

            1. Doug Hughes profile image59
              Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              "Thus any time anyone gets a job, it is because they voluntarily chose to take a job under the assumption that they would benefit from the transaction."

              That looks good on paper. Sometimes it agrees with reality. But IF the minimum wage is rescinded ,as Evan advocates, and a person has no other job opportunities, he will work in harsh and/or dangerous conditions because the alternative is for him and his family to starve.

              How 'voluntary' is that?

              Suppose the WV miners get together and collectively strike, demanding safe working conditions (because in a libertarian reality, the government doesn't  monitor safety in the workplace). Now libertarians feel that the mine owners are being coerced - but the workers were not coerced by the threat of starvation.

              Such is libertarian reality.

            2. Rajab Nsubuga profile image60
              Rajab Nsubugaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              I wonder the world of G Rogers! He's a dreamer. Trade takes place because of basically needs and wants. Therefore it is most likely that the terms of  trade will be determined by these two factors. I guess the word "manuplation" is in English. In most cases those in need are being exploited by the capitalists.

              If things were as Rogers potrays them then they should never have been any laws. Such a state only calls for anarchy

        2. Ralph Deeds profile image66
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          That's a crock. They are rich because they moved the work to China.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image77
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            ... wow, that makes NO sense.

            A: "Hey, I'm gonna move my jobs to China!"

            B:"What jobs? you own jobs?"

            A: "No, but if I move jobs to China then I'll get rich!"

            B: "But how can you move what you don't have?"

            A: "you're missing the point, i just have to 'move jobs to China' and then I'll be rich!"

            --------------

            Obviously, they were rich before they moved the jobs to China: they actually had the POWER to MOVE the jobs ACROSS AN ENTIRE OCEAN!!!!!

            Also: why do you think that a Job in China is worth less than a job in the US? Are you racist and think that people in China shouldn't have jobs?

        3. Ralph Deeds profile image66
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Ford Motor is but a shadow of what Henry Ford built, ditto for GM and Chrysler. The jobs have gone off shore or to non-union, transplant assembly plants lured to the South by promises that the union would be kept out.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image77
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            right, but who did more? Theresa or Ford?

            Mass production obviously wins the argument.

      2. BillyDRitchie profile image61
        BillyDRitchieposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        "And Shadesbreath is right - I am bigoted in favor of that 90%...."

        And you last got a job from a poor man....when?

        (Odd how nobody ever answers this question...)

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image77
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          well, by not answering it they answer it.

          A: "When was the last time you got a job from someone with less wealth than you?"

          B: "... ... ..."

          A: "Yeah, that's what I thought."

          1. Doug Hughes profile image59
            Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            The question - "And you last got a job from a poor man....when?"

            makes no sense.  What are you suggesting? Oh, maybe we have gotten back to the theme of the OP.
            Plutocracy - –noun, plural -cies.
                 1. the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy.

            So you are suggesting that the worker must accept the rule of the rich???

            1. BillyDRitchie profile image61
              BillyDRitchieposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              You accept the "rule" of who ever is providing the job.

              In what bizarre parallel universe are employers expected to allow their subordinates to call the shots?

              1. Doug Hughes profile image59
                Doug Hughesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                Nobody is asking business owners to allow employees to call the shots. (Though it's an idea with potential.)

                The crux of the argument is whether government should be the 'boss' of business and regulate activities that are in the public interest. I'm thinking of the minimum wage, laws prohibiting exploiting children, workplace safety, health and sanitation in the food industry, etc.

                Business is pushing back against all of this, trying to claim what is essentially a Plutocracy - and denying that the common welfare as defined by law can be enforced when it conflicts with their economic goals.

                1. Jim Hunter profile image61
                  Jim Hunterposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  "Nobody is asking business owners to allow employees to call the shots. (Though it's an idea with potential.)"

                  Potential?

                  Its called a labor union.

          2. Jeff Berndt profile image87
            Jeff Berndtposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Well, ask it the other way round. When was the last time you got money from someone less wealthy than you?

            The bottom 70% will usually say "never." But the top 30% will say, "Are you kidding? Most of my income comes from someone less wealthy than I am."

  3. qwark profile image59
    qwarkposted 6 years ago

    Go back and study the "Rothschilds."
    He who controls money: CONTROLS!!
    Take a look at the board membership of the federal reserve and the 10 largest world banks.
    The answer to this forum question should become obvious after a little study..
    Qwark

 
working